Plantar Warts

Convenient, Effective Treatment for Plantar Warts

Warts on feet, commonly known as plantar warts, can be a substantial nuisance to your day-to-day life. Not only are they unsightly and potentially embarrassing, but they can also be irritating or even painful if they’re positioned in a load-bearing location, or in a spot that encounters a lot of friction from shoes and socks.

And until recently, treating warts on feet could also be a substantial nuisance. Even the “best” options could be painful, require inconvenient aftercare, and were frustratingly inconsistent.

Not anymore! Thanks to new Swift Microwave Therapy, eliminating plantar warts has never been simpler, more effective, or more convenient.

But first, let’s talk a little bit about the warts themselves.

What Are Warts?

Warts are raised, fleshy, grainy growths that form due to a viral infection in the uppermost layers of skin. If you look closely, you may notice that the wart disrupts the natural “lines” of your footprint, and may have one or more black “pinpoints” (caused by small, clotted blood vessels) within the lesion.

When a wart is in a load-bearing area, such as under the heel or ball of the foot, it may appear flattened and covered by hard, callused skin. It also may be painful or tender.

How Did I Get Warts?

Warts are caused by strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

The virus is very common and especially prefers environments that are warm and moist—like the inside of your shoes, or the floors of gyms, locker rooms, or pool decks. If you don’t change your shoes and socks when they get damp, or you walk barefoot in public spaces, you may be more at risk of developing warts.

The virus enters the upper layers of skin through weak points, including cuts or tiny breaks. These can be so small you don’t even really notice them.

Advanced Treatment for Plantar Warts: Swift Microwave Therapy

 

What Is It?

Swift Microwave Therapy is a revolutionary treatment option for warts that offers improved cure rates, greater convenience, less pain, and zero downtime or aftercare when compared to traditional wart therapies.

Instead of cutting out, peeling away, or freezing off the wart (like traditional treatments), Swift is an immunotherapy technique that helps your body’s immune system rapidly fight off the infection. Following this, the wart disappears on its own, without needing to be forcibly destroyed or removed.

The main reason that warts take so long to heal on their own, under normal circumstances, is because the immune system typically doesn’t “patrol” the uppermost layers of skin as vigilantly as other areas of the body. The virus can thus evade detection and avoid being targeted for removal by the body.

Swift uses a short (2-3 seconds) burst of microwaves to heat up water molecules in the upper layers of skin, which cause enough friction to get the immune system’s attention. The HPV is caught red-handed, and the body gets to work healing the wart.

plantar warts

What Can I Expect from Treatment?

At the session, we’ll gently debride the wart to improve contact, which is completely painless. Then, we’ll perform the actual microwave therapy.

As stated, this only takes a couple of seconds. You may feel some mild discomfort and a heating sensation. However, this is extremely short-lived. No anesthetics are needed.

Because the therapy is non-invasive, there’s no bleeding or bandages, either, and you don’t need to do anything afterward at home. Just go back to your normal day-to-day routine.

To fully eradicate your warts, you usually need about 3-4 sessions of the Swift Therapy. (This is about the same number that you’d need for more destructive therapies as well.)

Advantages of Swift Therapy

Why choose Swift Microwave Therapy over more traditional forms of therapy for wart removal? There are many significant reasons, including:

  • There’s no post-procedural pain. Any discomfort you might feel during the 2-3 seconds of therapy application will subside almost immediately thereafter, with no lingering effects.
  • It’s extremely convenient. Therapy sessions take only a few minutes, with no aftercare to worry about. You don’t even need a bandage. You could do it on a lunch break and go right back to your day.
  • It’s highly effective. More than 4 out of 5 patients achieve success with this treatment, which is a better rate than conventional treatments.
  • It’s safe. Microwave therapy has a long track record of safety, and because Swift is completely non-invasive, there is minimal risk of infections or complications.

When you compare Swift to conventional treatments like cryotherapy or salicylic acid, the choice is clear. Swift offers many benefits and improvements with hardly any downsides. That’s why it’s become the treatment of choice for our office.

FAQs

What Are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are fleshy, grainy growths of skin that appear on your feet, particularly the heels or balls of your feet. They develop when certain strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, infect the upper layers of skin.

Warts on other areas of the body tend to have a raised appearance, but plantar warts may appear flat due to pressure from standing on them. Plantar warts disrupt the normal lines and ridges on your feet, and you may even notice black “pinpoints” in the center of the wart (which are clotted blood vessels).

How Did I Get Plantar Warts?

Two things are generally required to get plantar warts—exposure to HPV, and a way for the warts to get under the skin.

You’re more likely to be exposed to HPV if you go barefoot in public environments, particularly those which are humid—pool decks, locker rooms, showers, etc. The virus can also thrive inside damp shoes and socks.

HPV gets in through cuts, cracks, breaks, and other weak points in the skin. Keeping your skin healthy, clean, and smooth helps reduce your risk. Unfortunately, prevention isn’t always 100% guaranteed.

Will My Plantar Warts Go Away on Their Own?

Some warts will go away on their own. Others do not.

However, it’s important to understand that, even if your plantar warts do eventually go away without treatment, this process may take months or even years. And in that time, they will have the opportunity to spread to other parts of your body, or even to other people in your household.

Do I Need to Treat My Plantar Warts at All?

Treating plantar warts is a personal choice. If your warts aren’t causing you any pain or emotional distress, you may choose not to treat them.

However, as noted above, untreated warts may take a long time to go away, or may never go away. As long as you have an active wart, there is a risk they could spread. Warts may also become larger, or develop in areas that make it painful to stand or walk.

For these reasons, we strongly encourage you to treat your warts even if they aren’t really bothering you right now. Better to take care of the issue before it becomes a much bigger (and more difficult to treat) problem.

Is It Bad to Pick at My Warts?

Yes, it is. Picking, scratching, or even just touching your warts could cause them to spread to your hands, or to other parts of your body that you touch afterward.

Avoid touching your warts as much as possible. If you only have one or two small warts, it may be a good idea to cover them with a loose, non-medicated bandage to discourage picking and reduce the risk of spreading.

If you must touch your warts, wash your hands immediately afterward with soap and water.

Can I Treat My Plantar Warts at Home?

While several over-the-counter wart treatment kits (and even “home remedies”) exist, the unfortunate reality is that the overall success rates for these treatments are very low. Almost all rigorous studies of home treatments for warts show little if any effect better than a placebo.

That doesn’t mean you can’t try them if you wish, as long as they are safe. However, we usually recommend you skip the home treatments and move straight to professional treatment options for faster, more reliable results.

Absolutely never attempt to pick at your wart with tweezers, cut it out with clippers, or perform any kind of “bathroom surgery.” This not only won’t solve your wart problem, but can also cause you a lot of pain and increase your risk of dangerous infections.

What Are the Professional Treatment Options for Plantar Warts?

There are many different professional treatment options. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Using a peeling medication on your warts, such as salicylic acid
  • Freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen, or similar cryotherapy procedures
  • Surgically removing the wart using traditional tools
  • Laser surgery
  • Swift Microwave Therapy
What Is the BEST Plantar Wart Treatment Option for Me?

Although optimal treatment can vary from person to person based on their individual situation and needs, Swift Microwave Therapy is going to be the best choice for a significant majority of patients with plantar warts.

This treatment uses a brief (2-3 second) pulse of microwave energy into the area of the wart to treat the affected tissue and attract the attention of the immune system, which attacks the HPV infection from the inside out.

Compared to older methods like salicylic acid and cryotherapy, Swift typically requires fewer treatment sessions, causes only minimal discomfort (and only for a few seconds), requires no aftercare, and has an extremely low risk of side effects. Warts are also less likely to return after treatment due to the increased involvement of the immune system.

You can learn more about Swift on our service page, as well as our Swift FAQ.

Get Rid of Your Plantar Warts the Easy Way

If you’re struggling with plantar warts that just won’t go away, please give our office a call. Swift Microwave Therapy is a much better choice than traditional wart treatments—to say nothing of home remedies—and it’s completely safe for kids, too!

You can reach our Lee’s Summit office at (816) 246-4222, or use our contact form to request information or an appointment online.